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Why I Am Slouching Toward Google Plus As It Passes LinkedIn
I'm an Internet marketer and that means I NEVER ignore new tools or ideas especially if the word GOOGLE is anywhere near them. I hedge by tipping a toe in and waiting to see if an entire foot is warranted. 

My foot is wet now on Google Plus and I am inches from jumping all the way in. This exhaustive study showing G+ moved past LinkedIn doesn't surprise me. 

I am NOT saying Google Plus is ready for prime time. It is NOT. The UI is confusing and if you figure out their marketing positioning let me know, but I am more in today than yesterday and suspect that trend to continue. 

Perhaps THE hardest lesson I've learned as an Internet marketer is judge less and do more. I get that we are all exhausted and overwhelmed. The amount of change we've had to process in the last two years is insane. 

Sorry, but we are going to look back and think this was the slow time, the time when we could really THINK and then DO. Think you are overwhelmed now trying to figure out how to have your marketing MATTER and create advocacy? Just wait. 

Let's stipulate a few things such as:

* We MUST work on our Internet Marketing car as we drive.
* Moore's Law means today's speed will seem slow tomorrow.
* Anything with the word GOOGLE Attached Deserves Our Attention, Involvement and Support. 

"Support" may be the wrong word. Do you "support" a king or respect him and do what he tells you. These flat, global, connected and social days even Kings need a little support. Google Plus has an ever increasing amount of mine and, if you too are an Internet marketer, G+ should have yours too. 

CC: My G+ braintrust: +Mark Traphagen  +Phil Buckley +Nikol Murphy +Jesse Wojdylo +Neil Ferree 
Martin W. Smith's profile photoJohn Lane's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoJesse Wojdylo's profile photo
WindMill in 44 minutes flat no less ♦ Boom! [so typical] + good
If this is the slow time I'd better buckle up for when it picks up speed. It is very hard for me to think about a time when all the businesses and big names start using Google plus effectively. I already received over 500 notifications a day and that number continues to grow. Looks like I will need to hire some assistants for assistance. 
I'm interested in the growth, for the same reasons, Martin. But I think "active users" has to be a key point of contention here. Active users for Google+, as I hear it, means anyone who is signed into to Google (as + is now omnipresent in GMail and Search). LinkedIn and Twitter and others count active users in a much different way.

So are those millions of active Google users really active in the + confines? That seems hard to buy, as I'd say about 1% of the people I'm connected to on the platform are active; a much larger percentage of them are posting like mad on other networks.

Not saying you should ignore it. But I can't imagine making it a primary source of information or networking yet. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it many more times: Google+ will either change the face of social media, or it will be forgotten... or both.

+John Lane No, that is the 500 million "users" that G+ claims. They have been careful to distinguish that from "active users," (which is anyone who has done something at in the past 30 days), and the last public number for that was 135 million, back in November, which is no slouch for an 18 month old network. 

And BTW, that defintion of active users is the same used by FB and Twitter. T

There is another independent survey out right now that claims G+ now has 335 million active monthly users.
I assume that other study you're talking about is this one:

I didn't see documentation in either that explained the past 30 day qualifier. Forgive me for not digging in far enough to find the fine print.

Are there also stats you've seen comparing other metrics from the platform? Engagement? Posts per user? Repeat use in consecutive days (or even consecutive 30 day periods)? I'd be interested to see it.
John, thanks for the comment. is direct link to the study showing fatigue of other hyper local networks. Scale or die. 

Frankly I could care less about the numbers. I care about results of course and Google Plus continues to astonish and amaze. Every now and again, for reasons I've yet to figure out, G+ will love one of my posts to an organic listing it really doesn't deserve.

I always check such anomalies with my most trusted IM friends and they've had similar "ghost in the machine" reactions. Friends who really know and understand G+ like +Mark Traphagen prove its value each time Mark's author profile pops up when I am anywhere near his topics. 

Great comment and hope the link helps answer the numbers questions. I'm moving more chips in the G+ direction because it has earned them and because people I trust to be smarter than me are already there in a big way. Marty 
Well shame on me for missing this! I am experiencing "higher than average notification volume".

Many people that I speak to have the same insight, "What is it?" Google needs to adopt the tagline I have started to use. "Google Plus, it's where you meet the hero of YOUR world." Personal or Professional, it doesn't matter. The playing field is leveled here. I have had more amazing experiences on this network in the last 4 months than in a very long while. 

I feel that the Google+ turning point is going to be when they make the UI a bit more friendly to the "Mommy Eye" (which in my opinion is just going to take a larger "share box" and when you can make your profile completely private so that you have complete control over who can follow you.
I'm not doubting the growth of the network in shear numbers of users.

And the benefits of using the network for better search results seems fairly cut and dry - it's Google after all.

But what I'm still searching for is good evidence of engagement on the network. (Not denying those exist either, I'm just not seeing a lot of it yet and want to know how it compares to activity on other networks.)
John, you crack me up man. Too good. Love the, "It's Google after all." Marty 
+John Lane what those of us who have so much engagement here we almost wish the ghost town stories were true ;-) have found is that it's here, but you have to put in a little homework to seek it out. Just follow most of the people in this thread and look at their posts. See how much engagement they are getting. Use the search to find people and communities where conversations about your topics are happening. Enter into those conversations with meaningful contributions. Any of us who have done that have seen a snowball that starts rapidly rolling downhill.
Thank you, Mark. I'm in the process of doing that because I want to understand the propensity of this platform as much as the others. And in that process so far, my anecdotal evidence has shown a lot less "life" than other platforms. Hence, the quest for evidence. I'll keep experimenting and digging. 
This post is already at 13 thoughtful comments, with comments still coming in days after posting. Most bloggers would give an arm for that much engagement. But yeah, it's dead here, right +Martin W. Smith ?
Yes +Mark Traphagen the engagement in this ghost town is terrible. I am only averaging about 25 comments per post 
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